Sunday, November 20, 2005

Caroline's Calisthenics

Nobody ever told me that when I became a father, I would also become a football coach.

You see, in order to encourage proper development of neck and back muscles, and to improve coordination in general, the experts recommend "tummy time" for babies at least a few minutes every day.

Thus, every day during the week, Terri will have the girls on their stomachs. During the weekend, I try to give their girls their "tummy time" while playing with them.

The first few times I did "tummy time", I carefully placed each girl on their stomach, then sat there passively and watched.

The girls would invariably cry.

Like any first time father, I would break down and pick them up.

As the weeks have gone by, however, and the girls have gotten stronger, "tummy time" has become more fun.

First, I realized that the girls will not break if I flip them over onto their backs (much like flipping a turtle onto it's back).

The girls, in fact, being bigger now, actually enjoy getting flipped over.

Far from crying when they are put on their stomachs, they seem to enjoy the challenge.

They stretch their legs and arms, lift their heads, and grunt continuously.

And far from being the passive observer, I now encourage them in the spirit of football coaches everywhere.

While lying on my stomach myself (so I can look at them in the eye, on their level), I shout encouragement:

"Lift that head!"

"Get that head up 45 degrees! Hold it! Hold it!"

"Way to go [Katherine]/[Caroline]! You're doing great!"

"Who's the Baby?
You're the Baby!"

And today, all my coaching paid off.

Call it the Super Bowl of "tummy time".

Caroline rolled over. From her stomach onto her back.

All by herself.

If someone could have poured Gatorade over me, I couldn't have been prouder.

And just to prove it was no fluke, I had her do it three more times. And I took pictures:

Play-By-Play of Caroline's SportsCenter Moment
(click on photo for larger view)

I also got a post-roll interview from the victorious Baby. Take a listen below. I think you'll agree she's quite modest (it sounds like she's crying, but she's actually babbling):

this is an audio post - click to play

If my alma mater, the UCLA Bruins, puts in half the effort Caroline put in tonight in two weeks against arch-rival USC, we've got a shot to beat those Trojans!! Go Bruins!

U --- C --- L --- A ---- UCLA, Beat 'SC!
(click on photo for larger view)


Amy said...

Yay, Caroline! Baylee went first over here, but it took me about two weeks to "catch" her doing it. I would invariably walk away for a SECOND, come back, and she wou;d have rolled over.

Katherine can't be too far behind.

Rose said...

My baby hated tummy time. One day she just flipped over on her belly like a pro. And now she's flipping and rolling everywhere.